China's Singles Day is a huge opportunity for western business

A huge appetite for western brands is making the Chinese 11.11 Singles Day event into a worldwide force to be reckoned with. Here's what it looks like.

by Andrew Saunders

SHENZHEN, CHINA: A bemused David Beckham opened the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in Shenzhen last night. With Posh at his side the pair kicked off a live TV Gala in the run up to Singles Day, a 24hr orgy of online shopping masterminded by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The whole brouhaha had generated sales of $17.7bn or 120.7bn RMB when the virtual tills closed at midnight local time on the 12th. A lot of money by any reckoning, but somewhat short of the $20bn rumour that had been doing the rounds. But then the RMB (like a few other currencies we could mention) isn't what it was this time last year.

The TV show – an amped-up hybrid of It’s a Knockout and The Generation Game, as produced by The Shopping Channel – is, like pretty much everything done by Alibaba, an enthusiastic and unashamed attempt to persuade it’s 400m active consumers to buy, buy, buy.  

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Limited free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Become a subscriber

From £42 a quarter*

  • Full access to
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine
  • Plus lots more including our State of the Industry Report.

Choose a Package

*plus VAT